It was the first intimation ofwhat would soon follow.

 Death of a Salesman opened inFebruary 1949 and was hailed by nearly every newspaper andmagazine.

The surreality of itall never left me.

They wrote notpropaganda but entertainment, some of it of a mildlyliberal cast, but most of it mindless, or when it was political,as with Preston Sturges or Frank Capra, entirely and exuberantlyun-Marxist.

I was sure the whole thingwould soon go away; it was just too outrageous.

BritishLibrary Lansdowne MS 851 fol.

Yet this great director, leftundefended by 20th Century Fox executives, his longtime employers,was told that if he refused to name people whom he had known inthe party - actors, directors and writers - he wouldnever be allowed to direct another picture in Hollywood, meaningthe end of his career.

We were living in an art form, a metaphor that hadsuddenly, incredibly, gripped the country.

I suppose werapidly passed over anything like a discussion or debate, and intosomething quite different, a hunt not just for subversive people,but for ideas and even a suspect language.

But in the 50s any ofthese could be validated as real threats by rolling out a map ofChina.


Howard - Diana Dosik - Tucker Scott

To take one of these essays, copy it, and to pass
it off as your own is known as plagiarism—academic dishonesty which will
result (in every university I've heard tell of) in suspension or dismissal from
the university.

Not to mention abouta year of inanition in my creative life.

Only three or four years earlier an American movie audience,on seeing a newsreel of Stalin saluting the Red Army, wouldhave applauded, for that army had taken the brunt of the Nazionslaught, as most people were aware.

A similar paralysis descended onSalem.

Harry Bridges, the idol ofwest coast longshoremen, whom he had all but single-handedlyorganised, was subjected to trial after trial to drive himback to his native Australia as an unadmitted communist.

Theword socialism was all but taboo.

In today's terms, the country hadbeen delivered into the hands of the radical right, a ministry offree-floating apprehension toward anything that never happens inthe middle of Missouri.

Kline - Jennifer Culver - Jim Knapp, Jr. - D.

Some were communists,some were fellow travellers and, inevitably, a certain numberwere unaffiliated liberals refusing to sign one of the dozens ofhumiliating anti-communist pledges being required by terrifiedcollege administrations.

Had I been a movie writer, my career would have ended.

Nobody was shot, to besure, although some were going to jail, where at least one,William Remington, was murdered by an inmate hoping toshorten his sentence by having killed a communist.

But where to find a transcendent concept?

Ratherthan physical fear, it was the sense of impotence, which seemed todeepen with each week, of being unable to speak accuratelyof the very recent past when being leftwing in America, and forthat matter in Europe, was to be alive to the dilemmas of the day.